Source: wechat official account: Bu Yidao has been authorized to reprint
Pen / Tiger knife & Sword smile
Do it again!
For China, ambitious, investment supply chain, economic framework agreement
In contrast, the $300million investment quota does not care about the market access that other countries are most concerned about
The “partnership for economic prosperity in the Americas” to be announced by Biden at the summit of the Americas is like the “Indo Pacific economic framework” announced at the Asia Pacific trip not long ago.
The only constant is that Washington always has a big stone in its heart to “counter China”.
From June 6 to 10, the United States held the ninth summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
According to US government officials, President Biden will announce at the summit of the Americas that he will establish economic partnership with countries in the Western Hemisphere on the basis of existing trade agreements, focusing on promoting economic recovery.
This economic cooperation framework is called the partnership for economic prosperity of the Americas, and its objectives cover five major areas, including investment mobilization, institutional revitalization, clean energy employment, flexible supply chains and sustainable trade.
The official also disclosed that Biden would propose an “ambitious reform” for the Inter American Development Bank, and the United States would seek to obtain the equity of the bank’s private loan department to support the allocation of private capital.
Does it sound familiar.
What is the difference between this and the so-called “Indo Pacific economic framework” announced by Biden during his Asian trip to Japan and South Korea a month ago?
The framework agreement on economic cooperation in Washington is the PPT, which can be displayed in another shell?
That framework has not yet been put into practice. The United States has now come up with a new economic framework. However, the sincerity of the United States towards the “Indo Pacific economic framework” seems to be more than that of the “partnership for economic prosperity in the Americas”: Washington has promised to invest $50billion in Indo Pacific countries, while the current commitment to American countries is $300million.
Without a set plan and content, Washington could not wait to announce this new economic framework for cooperation. The reason is that now China has become their worry.
U.S. officials disclosed that the plan aims to provide countries in the Americas with cooperation options other than China, so as to counter the expansion of China’s influence.
In a recent statement issued by the American leadership initiative, a US business think tank, China has become a major or even the largest trading partner of many countries in Central America and Latin America over the past decade or so, and has also invested in more than 20 countries in the Americas through the “the Belt and Road”. The United States should open up a new path by announcing a large number of investment and economic cooperation plans, “otherwise it will face the risk of ceding the backyard of the United States to China.”
Obviously, China’s growing influence in Latin America has kept Washington awake at night.
So in the face of this “ambitious” economic plan, do countries in the Americas buy it?
The absence of six heads of government including Mexico from the summit is the most direct answer.
Although the United States won the last minute, the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and other countries still did not participate in this meeting to protest against Washington’s exclusion of the governments of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“If the new economic plan of the United States is so attractive, then presidents of all countries cannot escape and do not attend, and we will not see such a political theater happen now,” said Berg, a senior researcher of the Americas program at the center for strategic international studies
In fact, this partnership plan is similar to the “Indian Pacific economic architecture” model launched by Biden in Tokyo in May. It does not reduce tariffs or increase U.S. market access, which is precisely the content of trade agreements that Latin American countries seeking development opportunities are most concerned about.
Some US officials argued that the United States has signed separate free trade agreements with many countries in the Americas, but these trade agreements have become a sharp weapon for exploiting these countries. Data show that after the implementation of NAFTA in 1994, Mexico has become one of the countries with the slowest economic growth in the Western Hemisphere.
In recent years, the United States has implemented quite a few economic agreements in Latin America, from the “American growth” agreement launched during the trump administration to the “rebuilding a better world” plan proposed by the Biden administration. However, the fact is that these initiatives are always at the initial stage. Many projects of the “rebuilding the American world” plan are still stranded in the Senate.
Now that a new name has been created, can the American countries still believe it?
American countries’ disappointment with the United States is not limited to this.
As we all know, Biden has decades of experience in Latin American exchanges since he became a senator. As a vice president, Biden has visited the region more than 16 times. Therefore, when Biden first took office, Latin American countries were optimistic that he would establish closer cooperative relations with the region.
However, the Biden administration has paid little attention to this area for more than a year.
So far, 12 US ambassadors to the Americas have been vacant, which is enough to show whether the US attaches importance to the region and can really keep up with its beautiful words.
In addition to the post of ambassador, the nomination of the head of the organization of American States is equally distant. It is worth noting that the organization of American States (OAS) is one of the most important multilateral institutions in the region, and its secretariat has traditionally been the planning center of the summit of the Americas.
Since the epidemic of COVID-19 has been prevalent, Washington has also been “reluctant” to provide assistance to American countries. On the one hand, it said that it would demonstrate the “leadership” of the United States in donating vaccines. On the other hand, it boasted that it had donated 80 bottles of newcrown vaccines to a country in Trinidad and Tobago. Finally, under pressure, the United States provided a total of 70million vaccines to Latin America.
Immigration policy was another focus of the summit of the Americas, and Washington’s handling was equally disappointing.
The leaders of the three countries, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which account for the majority of immigrants, did not attend the summit directly.
The Biden administration now wants to continue to demonstrate the leadership of the United States on the American continent through meetings, but as Richard Haas, the current chairman of the Inter American Commission, said: there is no free trade agreement, no infrastructure investment, and no immigration policy. The news focus of this year’s summit of the Americas is entirely on who attended and who did not attend.
There is no doubt that this is an “out and out” failure of the US government.
Biden’s announcement of the “partnership for economic prosperity in the Americas” is ostensibly a relatively new formulation.
But in fact, the promise of various economic assistance to their own “backyard” has been the usual way for successive US governments to win over.
In order to integrate Latin American countries, the United States put forward the idea of building the free trade area of the Americas at the American summit in Miami in 1994.
However, as Brazil and other countries have great differences with the United States on some issues, the relevant negotiations have encountered unprecedented difficulties, and no breakthrough has been achieved.
As an alternative, the United States has launched bilateral and multilateral free trade negotiations with some of these countries, and has also continuously announced other economic aid ideas for the “Americas”.
Biden’s plan is the new one in this series of “dolls”.
However, in the current context, the Biden administration also has new considerations:
First, it is more targeted at “excluding China”.
In recent years, the economic cooperation and equal interaction between China and Latin American countries have reduced the “sense of dominance” of some people in the United States over Latin America. During the trump administration, the “American growth” initiative was put forward. The “rebuilding a better world” initiative put forward by the Biden administration after taking office claimed to focus on Latin America. Secretary of state Antony Blinken went to Latin American countries to peddle this concept, claiming that it would be implemented in Latin America as a priority and would also be supported by relevant international financial institutions.
The second is to promote the solution of the persistent problem of illegal immigration.
Illegal immigrants from the Caribbean or other regions have crossed the border between the United States and Mexico into the United States, which has become a sharp topic in American domestic politics in recent years. Against the background that trump is trying to drive away or “build a wall” and other measures are difficult to implement, the Biden administration seems to be changing its routine and making a gesture of promoting economic recovery and development in Latin America through investment or assistance. In fact, the purpose is to stop potential immigrants from running to the United States.
All the words were magnificent, but in the end most of them were lip service but not true. This is also the universal outcome of Washington’s “commitment” to Latin America. Even if a small part of aid is in place, it is often attached with various political conditions, which makes Latin American countries very uncomfortable. In particular, compared with China’s equal cooperation, the North’s neighbors have always been bossy, which makes Latin American countries more suspicious.
Now the Biden administration’s empty economic commitment to Latin America is also in line with its recent idea of containment against China.
In Southeast Asia, in the broader so-called “Indo Pacific”, the United States has made various commitments based on “common economic prosperity”, trying to establish various decoupling and exclusive economic circles, including the “Indo Pacific economic framework”, and almost without accident, is talking about China.
However, just like the results of fooling around in other places, as well as the past several US governments, it is difficult for the Biden administration to fully implement its new investment assistance commitments to “America” or Latin America.
Especially considering the changes in Latin American political ecology, it is “pink” in the words of some media. The left-wing ruling Latin American countries have tried to keep away from the United States, and some radical left-wing countries tend to be anti American and anti American, which will make the United States more “cautious” about throwing money abroad.
It is either fake intimacy or unwillingness. I am afraid the embarrassment in Washington will continue.